Charlene writes, “I will be travelling to Ireland (from Boston) next month and I really want to bring my collapsible hoop. Do you have any experience flying abroad with hoops? Any trouble going through customs? Should I check it with my suitcase or carryon?”
I have a collapsable hoop that I routinely pack inside my suitcase. The less I have to carry through an airport the better and I prefer avoiding any potential hassles while traveling. There have been times, however, like being stuck at an airport somewhere, that I’ve wished I had my hoop with me in a carry-on instead. While most hoopers seem to travel by air these days, internationally and domestically, without a problem, every now and then you hear a story about a security agent who hasn’t seen or heard of such a thing as a collapsable hoop. Plastic pipe can look a little suspicious. Remaining calm, polite and cooperative will work to your best advantage. We know hoopers who’ve had to give an impromptu hooping demonstration for security as well. If you’re going to carry a hoop on be sure to arrive at the airport earlier than you ordinarily would, just in case you run into any problems.
If you want to bring more than one hoop, simply put your hoops together and wrap them into one big “hoop” using plastic wrap – like Saran Wrap for example. Add a little tape to hold the wrap in place. Then you can check your hoops as a single baggage item without a problem. Security can see what you are bringing as well. You will most likely need to pay a baggage fee each way (typically $25) but you’ll have all the hoops you want with you at your final destination. Be aware, however, that some airports will classify them as an odd or oversize item and they may not turn up on the baggage ramp when you arrive. You might need to go to a baggage office to retrieve them.